Sri Lanka is a committed partner for UN peacekeeping operations with a total of 1,215 men from the three Armed Forces and the Police serving in seven different Peacekeeping Missions. Following the defeat of Tamil Tiger terrorists in May 2009, Sri Lanka says its Armed Forces and the Police are now in a position to enhance their contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Forces.
Earlier this year the Sri Lankan Cabinet approved a proposal to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Stand-By Arrangement System (UNSAS) to increase Sri Lanka’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations. Highly versatile and determined Sri Lankan peacekeepers have successfully reacted to the challenges posed by the unprecedented scale and scope of today’s missions.
Beyond simply monitoring cease-fires, today’s multi-dimensional peacekeepers are called upon to facilitate the political process through the promotion of national dialogue and reconciliation, protect civilians, assist in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, support the organization of elections, protect and promote human rights, and assist in restoring the rule of law.
Sri Lanka first participated in UN peacekeeping as far back as in 1960 by deploying six peacekeepers in United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC). In 2004, Sri Lanka enhanced its contribution by deploying a complete infantry battalion of 950 personnel in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). This contribution was further strengthened by deploying a company of 150 personnel to the UN Mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the year 2010.
Sri Lanka is now a committed partner for UN peacekeeping operations with over thousand men from the three Armed Forces and the Police serving in seven different Peacekeeping Missions. The country is now placed in the 20th position in terms of troop contributions for Peacekeeping. Sri Lankan peacekeepers have been commended by the United Nations for their professionalism and commitment on many occasions.
Four Sri Lankan Army Officers have been chosen to receive the International Peace and Humanitarian award organized by a US based NGO “GROW TO STRENGTH” for the humanitarian work done by Sri Lanka Army during the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
The United Nations has honored peacekeepers from over forty Member States, including Sri Lanka, who laid down their lives during the year 2007. In recognition of their service and as a tribute to the fallen blue-helmets, the United Nations posthumously awarded 90 peacekeepers with the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal at a solemn ceremony held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 29 May 2008.
Sri Lankan Peacekeeper, Lance Corporal A. Jayantha, who died, while serving in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was among those honored. Since 2004 five Sri Lankan peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice for global peace while on duty. A further six Sri Lankan peace keepers have also sustained injuries while on duty since 2004.
Since 2000 to date 12,210 army soldiers, had served in the UN Peacekeeping forces. The country ranks at 20th in terms of troop contributions to the UN peacekeeping.
ARMY UN PEACE-KEEPING MISSION HOSPITAL IN SOUTH SUDAN
Lanka Army established SRIMED Level 2 Hospital in Bor of South Sudan under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) which has been reportedly hailed as one of the fastest and well-planned projects conducted ever.
As a result of Army’s timely action, Sri Lanka became the foremost country to deploy a surge contingent in South Sudan in keeping with the UN Security Council’s request to all countries for assistance after crisis struck South Sudan in December year 2013.
This SRIMED Hospital, equipped with necessary components for secondary care medical services, including an operating theatre, labour room, intensive care unit, emergency department, out-patient department, dental surgery, dental workshop, pharmacy, medical store, radiology department, clinical laboratory, ECG room, sterilizing department, bio medical engineering section, medical waste disposal section, freezer mortuary, isolation ward and laundry plus wards, also enjoys aero medical evacuation facility with ambulatory resuscitation and ventilation capabilities. Its 66 Sri Lankan Army staff will be commanded by the Consultant Epidemiologist,a Lieutenant Colonel.
Sri Lanka Army’s entry into South Sudan as the newest member in the UN peace keeping family marks a milestone in the Army history.
SUMMARY OF UN MISSIONS / DEPLOYMENT OF STAFF OFFICERS AND MILITARY OBSERVERS AS AT PRESENT.